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Posted on 04/02/2006 5:57:41 PM PDT by sionnsar
Fr. Binks - Busted Sticks & Smokey Wicks
A Lenten Reflection - April 2, AD 2006
and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
(Isaiah 42:1-4, Matthew 12:19-21)
Ya Never Know
A number of years ago, your author took an emergency first-aid course. For no particular reason, or recent crisis. Just.. because.. ya never know. Go take one. Be a good sheepdog, and dont make somebody else responsible for your safety, or that of your loved ones. Ya. Never. Know.
Lent itself is like that: you never know exactly what the state of your spiritual well-being is; you never know what trials, blessings, or temptations lay right ahead; nor do we know much about our fellow pilgrims on the way.
A Right Judgment
As we tread the paths of Lent, we are to be purified in our love and judgment and humility. We seek these goals as the Saviour did: by worshipful obedience to the Father and loyal service to his Kingdom and our neighbour, by trusting Gods hand to supply our spiritual and earthly needs; by resisting temptation and sin, and giving the devil a bash.
The humble Lord who shall at the Last Supper wash the feet of his disciples bids us to be servants of all, and to be sure the lumber is cleared from our own eye before we dare judge our brother or sister. Of course, he never says Dont Judge.. often it is our Christian friends who can look at us with humble mercy and love and help us overcome various troubles or sins. Ya never know.. and Saint Paul says as much:
Despite the endless contemporary misunderstandings about Judge Not Jesus no more forbids godly judgment than he forbids competent paramedics, judicious magistrates, wise scholars, skilled pilots, or precise surgeons. Christian character, prayerfulness, discernment, and emergency spiritual preparedness fortifies us and others around us for the spiritual or other battles and crises or victories we may face. Ya never know.. but souls and lives may hang in the balance. Let your light so shine.. that others may see it, and glorify our heavenly Father.
A Great Battle
The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria who gave so much to the thinking of the Church once said: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. Ya never know.
We are human: we battle with death, the Big Questions, the changes and chances of this uncertain life, and making our way with the time we have. All have scars.
Further, we all must fight the world the flesh, and the devil; or be under occupation by the same, in which case the image of God in us and our better self is still battling against death, and rebellion. Never assume you Know It All about someone.
We all have our burdens; opportunities; miseries, physical, emotional, mental and other limits; our particularities of life and history; graces and sinful bentnesses. As Austin Farrer once remarked, the Lord doesnt measure the poundage of each particular cross, but the love with which it is carried. For with infinite love he carried his cross for us, and in the face of mocking and rejection, cowardice and betrayal, misunderstanding and ignorance, he walked on. Yet by almighty love, he bore the dead-weight of our sins untill it crushed him to death, and on the Third Day, rose again for our justification.
Again, Lent should purify our love and understanding, so we may restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted guarding our steps as best we may so that we dont heap added burdens or temptations on one another. We all do so but to be careless or cruel or good-intentioned in such a matter is doubly damnable. Any of us may and this is a frightening thought be somebody elses last straw. Mea culpa! Deliver me, O Lord.
Word 2 Da Wise
As Anglican civil war struggles or the cultural and civilizational battles in the West get worse, lets try to offer a little more First Aid and a little less friendly fire, and lets glorify Our Lord by praying for our enemies, and one another. Ya never know.. souls and lives already hang in the balance.
May the Holy Spirit, the treasury of all good gifts, use Lent to so purify us. Let us be discerning, merciful, humble, and Christly examples to one another: as Blessed Paul exhorted the Galatian Church,
against such there is no law.
And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not be desirous of vain glory,
provoking one another, envying one another.
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